What’s Happening at OB Peacebuilding? (Fall 2016)

Here is our Fall 2016 newsletter.

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Connecting the Hub
Croatia – September 2016

In mid-September, a group of our Palestinian and Israeli alumni gathered for the annual Connecting the Hub, a 5-day celebration and leadership development retreat for alumni of the Palestinian-Israeli Emerging Leaders Program. In partnership with Outward Bound Croatia, the 7th Connecting the Hub was held at OB Croatia’s new Education Center in a small village Veliki Žitnik near Gospić. During the retreat, participants went hiking and abseiling as well as planned ideas for the future of the network.
“This gathering allowed me to spend some time with the team, open conversations, get to know each person a little bit more. It also allowed me to get out of my comfort zone.”  

-Alumnus, Palestinian-Israeli Emerging Leaders Program

Apply for the 2017 Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding!
Costa Rica – January 2017

Designed for working professionals and students who seek to get out of the classroom to apply and advance their leadership, empathy and conflict resolution skills, the Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding is a 10-day expedition based course that combines a unique wilderness experience with experiential learning techniques in a multi-cultural environment.

Please visit our website for more details and to apply.

Raise Your Hand Campaign
46 Countries. 22 Outward Bound Schools.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in Raise Your Hand 2016! Together more than 46 countries and 22 Outward Bound schools joined us to mark the International Day of Peace on Wednesday, September 21st. It’s not too late to make your gift or pledge in support of Outward Bound Peacebuilding. 

Check out a video of all our photos here.

Thoughts from Dan Blessing
2016 Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding

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“My teammates and I arrived in Costa Rica for the PEP program from different countries, speaking different languages, practicing different religions, and carrying very different life experiences. Yet through our hard work together and by creating a shared experience, we also created a community and extended family together in the rainforest. Practicing these skills and bringing them home to our own families is perhaps the greatest thing each of us can do to create peace in the world.”
– Dan Blessing, 2016 Alumnus and Voyageur Outward Bound Instructor

Read more about Dan’s experience on our 2016 Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding on the Voyageur Outward Bound website, which is part of a three part blog series: Part I – Part II – Part III.

Looking Ahead:

Oct. 27-30Association for Experiential Education Conference

Oct. 31 – Nov. 4:Outward Bound International Symposiumin North Carolina

Nov. 7: Board meeting in New York City

Jan. 4-13: 6th Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding

Your tax-deductible donation will help us invest in a peacebuilding leader.

My Brothers and Sisters in Peace
Reflections from Ana

“Sawatdee” is a useful phrase in the Thai language. It means everything from hello, good morning, goodbye to peace be with you. I learned the phrase on the second day of my three month International Rotary Fellowship in Bangkok over the summer of 2016, along with the traditional gesture of putting ones hands together in prayer and bowing my head to acknowledge others. It’s a lovely gesture – one that requires meeting the other person’s eyes and conveying a respect and recognition for each other’s humanity.

In December of 2015, I was accepted as a Rotary International Peace Fellow. The fellowship is for experienced professionals working in peace-related fields and consists of a three-month residential program in peace and conflict prevention and resolution at Chulalongkorn University… Notwithstanding a Master’s degree in International Affairs and my time as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, the Rotary Fellowship was the most international learning experience I have had to date. A judge from Cairo, an artist from Denmark, a government official from Kenya, an Indian woman police chief, a retired FBI agent – these are just a few of the amazing Fellows with whom I was honored to share this experience.

I return to New York City with an even stronger sense of the importance of our work in the world. It is clear to me from this experience that our approach of experiential peacebuilding resonates with people across the globe and is aligned with the leading research and theories supporting the field of peacebuilding. As importantly, I return with a expanded community of peacebuilding activists and visionaries, my brothers and sisters in peace, who are working alongside us to create lasting positive peace in the world.

Read more about Ana’s three-month fellowship on our blog.

Peace Matters
Minnesota – June 2016

Here are reflections from the first Peace Matters Expedition – in June, a crew of U.S. college students took to their canoes for an interfaith exploration of the value and nature of peace.

“A transformative moment was the solo… it gave me a strength and Peace”

“I realized that people can have strong beliefs and practices and still be kind, open minded and open to discussion”

“This course demonstrated the layers and complexity that surrounds conflict, and provided tools to go about Peacebuilding with individuals”

“I realize now what it is that I would like to study. I’ve always known that I want to have a career where I am able to help people but I’ve never been able to narrow it down until this trip. I realized that I want to study society/different cultures and possibly something with social work.”

Ana named Visionary of the Month!

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Our Executive Director, Ana Patel, was named Visionary of the Month at Hearts On Fire. The Hearts on Fire Movement identifies and showcases some of the most inspirational and committed individuals working to change the world for the better.

“As I see the world, peacebuilding and violence prevention is the urgent work of this generation – it affects everything else I care about deeply – environmental degradation, poverty, gender equality and good governance.”

Check out Ana’s profile on their website.